FAREWELL TO TXFM
TXFM ended the same week as our album release – the station that played our songs the most was gone. Our band was steeped in the station and its predecessor Phantom. In our minds, there was a serendipity to it ending and our album beginning.
We had a dual view of the station, a unique position as both artists and listeners.
A big moment for our band – a spot of luck – was supporting Echo & The Bunnymen. Not only were we playing with a legendary act, but the show was also being hosted by Phantom presenter Claire Beck. Luckily Claire took to our music and put two of our tracks on the main playlist. After that, for the first time, we noticed new faces at our shows singing our songs to back us.
When I heard the announcement TXFM was closing, the first thing I did was text my bandmates. It was saddening.
The truth is I felt a sense of loss about the closure of a great station. But there was also a selfish sense of loss for our band – who would play our music so much now? I couldn’t help it; so many music fans heard our songs there.
As listeners we would arrive at rehearsal: “Did you just hear that song on TX?” We were all tuned in.
The presenters’ love of music was obvious and infectious.
I remember my bandmate Diane telling me about listening to early Phantom, and how it was a great place for discovery, long before I moved to Dublin.
But TXFM was still turning me, and us, on to new artists all the time, including The Shins, Hayley Bonar, Grandaddy, Metronomy, PJ Harvey, Hot Chip and Bat For Lashes, to name just a few. In recent times, the show devoted to 1991 was genius. It felt like a station set free.
As the end edged closer, I remember my bandmate Jarlath wondering, how can a station that is so loved and engaged with – that has such a unique position – be closing? Surely it can work financially in some form?
From an artist’s perspective, it went from our friends texting, “Your band are on the radio again”, to texting “I can’t believe it’s ending”.
It’s tough work in a band, putting an album together – it’s intense and it drains you. Getting played on a station like TXFM, knowing music fans are hearing your songs, is one of the compensatory joys.
That final hour of TX was special. We were supposed to be rehearsing for our album launch, but couldn’t. We just sat in the car, in silence, listening.
In the end everyone seemed to realise how much it meant to the presenters, the artists, the listeners. It was finally undeniable, because the outpouring from presenters, artists and fans was unprecedented and pure.
Rehearsal was bittersweet that evening. We hope another station takes on the mantle. Tidal Waves gets a live airing in The Workman’s Club, Dublin on November 11